The June 2012 FSMS round shows that half of households are food insecure and 14 per cent severely food insecure. That represents a 2 per cent increase from February 2012 and a 6.5 per cent increase from June 2011. Acute malnutrition has reached its highest level since June 2010, affecting 20 per cent of children aged 6 to 59 months.
Food access has been the main driver of household food insecurity. High food prices remain the most reported shock; nearly half of household spend a high share of their total expenditure on food, compromising expenses on other basic services. The sale of natural resources constitutes the main source of income for 20 per cent of households, underscoring the fragility of livelihoods in South Sudan. The closure of the border with Sudan disrupted food trade flows. The phenomenon, combined with increasing food demand in areas with high returnee numbers, has resulted in an exceptional increase of staple food prices over the last five months. Cereal prices reached record levels in June/July 2012 in urban markets. Compared to July 2011, the retail price of sorghum and maize had increased by 180 to 220 per cent in Juba markets as of July 2012. Food inflation should abate thanks to the harvest that has started in September. Food and non-food price prospects will hinge on the resumption of trade between Sudan and South Sudan.